What Brakes For A Bike?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby abrogard » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:16 pm

Repairing an old bike - racing bike type, drop handlebars - for use by wife and self to take the kids on little tours round the block or something.

Getting the stuff off the internet. Gear change levers, seat, helmet, whatever. eBay.

Need brake handles, levers, whatever you call them. There's lots and lots listed on eBay and down at the bottom of the list I find the traditional aluminium things I always used to see and the text says that they are for 'racing' bikes.

Well we often get left behind by advancing technology and fashions, don't we?

So what about all these others? They look quite attractive some of them and they're almost all cheaper than these 'traditional' things.

Can we use any kind of brake handle on this bike or is there some reason why we must/should have the traditional thing?

Seems to be the only difference is the 'new' type or 'non-racing' type has a straight lever and the trad thing has a curve in the lever. A slight curve. Wouldn't make much if any difference I'd think.

:)
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by BNA » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:16 am

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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby find_bruce » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:16 am

Hi & welcome to the forums. Brake levers are designed to pull a particular amount of cable when you squeeze them & this needs to match the calipers. There are 4 common types of rim brakes - the older side pull, centrepull from the 60s and 70s, more modern dual pivot brakes & v-brakes - see the late sheldon brown's website for more detail.

An older "racing" bike - these days usally referred to as a road bike, will most likely have one form of caliper brakes. Unfortunately the really cheap levers you have been looking at will most likely be for v-brakes (often refered to as mountain bike, but also common on hybrid bikes) & will not work with a caliper brake.

You will have similar issues with gear levers - they need to work with the deraileurs you have on the bike (shimano, campagnolo & sram are not generally interchangeable) & have the same number of gears as your rear wheel.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Ross » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:32 am

Best IMO to buy a matched groupset ie buy calipers, levers and derailleurs say Shimano 105 5700 series rather than bits and pieces that may not be compatible with each other. Modern bikes have combined brake and gear levers, sometimes known as 'brifters'.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby find_bruce » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:47 am

All valid points Ross, but I suspect not within his price bracket - cheap brifters = no good & good brifters (like the 105 you suggested) = no cheap
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Paddles » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:14 am

Hi Abro, like bruce has indicated let us know what sort of brake calipers you have, maybe post a piccy if you can and then someone will be able to tellyou a good cheap lever to use, typically any of the dia-compe or tektro road levers are a good cheap alternative for any road bike style brakes, however linear pull brakes require slightly different levers. Knowing the type of handlebars you are using (flat or drop) is important too.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Nobody » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:23 am

Paddles wrote:Knowing the type of handlebars you are using (flat or drop) is important too.
OP said drop in the first line.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Paddles » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:04 pm

oops, didn't notice that, then assuming it's stocko centre pin or dual pin style road bike calipers then any of the cheap dia-compe, shimano or tektro road bike levers will work just fine.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Ross » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:50 pm

Paddles wrote:oops, didn't notice that, then assuming it's stocko centre pin or dual pin style road bike calipers then any of the cheap dia-compe, shimano or tektro road bike levers will work just fine.


No they won't. Well they will function as brake levers but not neccessarily as gear levers. They need to be matched with the derailleurs as I mentioned in my previous post, unless he is using downtube shifters.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby abrogard » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:02 pm

Thanks for the replies.

I've put some pictures up on Picasa web albums to show where I'm at. I found some brake handles amongst my kit - don't know when/where I got them, they're just cheap Taiwan things, I've put them on but haven't cabled them up yet. Not sure they're right for the job.

Pics at:

https://picasaweb.google.com/110775597796750008741/Thebike?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMGd3a_qu9zDrQE&feat=directlink
:)
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Nobody » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:44 pm

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Yep, those ones should do if you can get them connected OK.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby abrogard » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:15 am

Thanks.

I also bought - before I got your comments on t his forum - some gear levers:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/130787167132?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649#ht_4118wt_1004

They going to be okay or they're inappropriate?
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby QuangVuong » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:51 pm

You already have the gear levers. They are on your stem(just behind the centre of the handlebars.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby abrogard » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:26 am

No, I've got one of them, the other one is broken. Parts missing.
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Nobody » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:58 am

They appear to be the right shifters, but if you can't make them fit, then you are going to have to get new mounts for them. Maybe down tube shifter mounts would be suitable for you, like below. But if it was my bike and I was just riding with the kids, I'd convert it to a flat bar and buy some flat bar brake and shifter combos. You probably won't be using the drops much (if at all) anyway.

http://problemsolversbike.com/products/ ... ter_mount1
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby abrogard » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:15 am

I think you're right. I like the sound of that. The assembly can stop until I've investigated that avenue.. eBay here I come again.. flat bars....

:)

p.s. what about that gooseneck? still okay with straight bar?
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Re: What Brakes For A Bike?

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:17 pm

abrogard wrote:I think you're right. I like the sound of that. The assembly can stop until I've investigated that avenue.. eBay here I come again.. flat bars....

:)

p.s. what about that gooseneck? still okay with straight bar?


Should be OK but make sure you check the bar diameter before buying.
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